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Thread: CANNES Festival 2019

  1. #1
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    CANNES Festival 2019


    The Cannes Film Festival 14-25 May 2019

    You'll find a quick survey of the Cannes 2019 Competition list by Peter Bradshaw today in the GUARDIAN.

    2019 Cannes Film Festival Lineup: Terrence Malick, Xavier Dolan, Almodóvar Compete for Palme d’Or
    Cannes is celebrating its 72nd year in 2019 beginning May 14.

    The 2019 Cannes Film Festival has announced the majority of its official lineup, including films set to debut in sections such as Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition, Special Screenings, and Midnight Screenings. The lineup was announced this morning during a press conference. One thing to note is that additions to the lineup will most likely happen in the coming days. The lineup being announced this morning is the majority of the 2019 slate.

    One film already confirmed for the festival is Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die,” which has been selected to open Cannes 2019 on May 14. The movie is a zombie comedy starring Adam Driver, Bill Murray, and Chloe Sevigny as police officers who must protect their small town from the undead. “The Dead Don’t Die” will be in competition at Cannes, bringing Jarmusch back to the Palme d’Or race after “Paterson” in 2016. Other Jarmusch efforts that have competed for the Palme at Cannes include “Only Lovers Left Alive,” “Broken Flowers” (winner of the Grand Jury Prize), “Dead Man,” and “Mystery Train.” Jarmusch’s short film “Coffee and Cigarettes” won the Best Short Film prize at Cannes in 1993.

    Potential Oscar Contenders of Cannes 2019 (somebody thinks) Include 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' and Isabelle Huppert. Isabelle Huppert Says Her Performance in Cannes-Bound 'Frankie' is something completely new for her.

    This year it appears that both Netflix and Amazon film releases are excluded, logically since these "giants" have not changed their policy toward French cinema release.

    This year’s Cannes COMPETITION JURY will be led by “Birdman” and “The Revenant” Oscar winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The filmmaker won the Best Director prize at Cannes for “Babel” in 2006 and returned to the competition lineup in 2010 with the drama “Biutiful,” which won star Javier Bardem the Best Actor prize. The rest of Iñárritu’s jury will be announced later.

    The late Agnès Varda is featured in the official poster. There are still only four women directors included in the Competition list (though as Deadline points out in its tidy review, that is "the most of any recent year"). The lucky ladies are Mati Diop, Jessica Hausner, Céline Sciamma and Justine Triet. The second two are French.

    Opening Night Film
    “The Dead Don’t Die,” Jim Jarmusch (also in Competition)

    Pain & Glory/Dolor y gloria, dir: Pedro Almódovar
    Parasite/ 기생충 (Gisaengchung), dir: Bong Joon-ho
    The Wild Goose Lake/南方车站的聚会, dir: Diao Yinan
    The Traitor/Il traditore, dir: Marco Bellocchio
    Young Ahmed/Le jeune Ahmed, dirs: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
    Matthias & Maxime, dir: Xavier Dolan
    Oh Mercy/Roubaix, une lumière, dir: Arnaud Desplechin
    A Hidden Life, dir: Terrence Malick
    Sorry We Missed You, dir: Ken Loach
    Little Joe, dir: Jessica Hausner
    Portrait Of A Lady On Fire/Portrait de la jeune fille en feu , dir: Céline Sciamma
    Atlantique, dir: Mati Diop
    Sibyl, dir: Justine Triet
    It Must Be Heaven, dir: Elia Suleiman
    Frankie, dir: Ira Sachs
    Bacurau, dirs: Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles
    The Whistlers/La Gomera, dir: Corneliu Porumboiu
    Les Misérables, dir: Ladj Ly
    Later addition:
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, dir. Quentin Tarantino

    Un Certain Regard
    Invisible Life, dir: Karim Aïnouz
    Beanpole, dir: Kantemir Balagov
    The Swallows Of Kabul, dirs: Zabou Breitman & Eléa Gobé Mévellec
    A Brother’s Love, dir: Monia Chokri
    The Climb, dir: Michael Covino
    Jeanne, dir: Bruno Dumont
    A Sun That Never Sets, dir: Olivier Laxe
    Chambre 212, dir: Christophe Honoré
    Port Authority, dir: Danielle Lessovitz
    Papicha, dir: Mounia Meddour
    Adam, dir: Maryam Touzani
    Zhuo Ren Mi Mi, dir: Midi Z
    Liberté, dir: Albert Serra
    Bull, dir: Annie Silverstein
    Summer Of Changsha, dir: Zu Feng
    Evge, dir: Nariman Aliev

    Out of Competition
    Les Plus Belles Années D’Une Vie, dir: Claude Lelouch
    Rocketman, dir: Dexter Fletcher
    Too Old To Die Young – North Of Hollywood, West Of Hell (two episodes); dir: Nicolas Winding Refn
    Diego Maradona, dir: Asif Kapadia
    La Belle Epoque, dir: Nicolas Bedos

    Special Screenings
    Tommaso, dir: Abel Ferrara
    Share, dir: Pippa Bianco
    For Sama, dirs: Waad Al Kateab & Edward Watts
    Etre Vivant Et Le Savoir/To Be Alive and Know It, dir: Alain Cavalier
    Family Romance LLC, dir: Werner Herzog
    Que Sea Ley, Juan Solanas

    Midnight Screenings
    “The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil,” Lee Won-Tae

    Critics week (Features competition)
    About Lelia, dir: Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
    Land Of Ashes, dir: Sofía Quirós Ubeda
    A White, White Day, dir: Hlynur Pálmason
    I Lost My Body, dir: Jérémy Clapin
    Our Mothers, dir: César Diaz
    The Unknown Saint, dir: Alaa Eddine Aljem
    Vivarium, dir: Lorcan Finnegan

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-05-2019 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Does anyone recognize those two guys? They are featured in a poster for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino's new movie. It's not ready yet. If it gets ready, it will be at Cannes.

    Bruce Lee is a character, also Charles Manson.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-23-2019 at 09:04 AM.

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    Directors' Fortnight /Quinzaine des réalisateurs announced.

    The Directors’ Fortnight runs from 15-25 May. There is some hint of controversy since a Netflix film, Anvari's Wounds, was chosen, and Cannes bars Netflix films. But the Fortnight has been run independently of but concurrently with the Festival since 1969.

    Some cool genre variations are featured here. Eggers is the director of the much-admired The Witch (Filmleaf reviewed, 2015). This one casts Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in a tale drawn from seafarer myths. It's released by A24. Wounds actually debuted at Sundance. It's a psychological horror film starring among others Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson. Bertrand Bonello's film, set in Haiti in 1962, depicts a return from the dead, a family curse, and sugar plantations. Fabrice Luchini plays the mayor in Pariser's political film. Dogs Don't Wear Pants is a Finnish film about S&M practices. Song Without a Name is about child trafficking in Peru in the Eighties.Guadignino's The Staggering Girl is a 35 min. film directed for the clothing company Valentino and starring Julianne Moore.


    Directors’ Fortnight lineup
    Alice and the Mayor (dir Nicolas Pariser)
    And Then We Danced (dir Levan Akin)
    Blow It to Bits (dir Lech Kowalski)
    Deerskin (dir Quentin Dupieux) – opening film
    Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (dir Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää)
    First Love (dir Takashi Miike)
    An Easy Girl (dir Rebecca Zlotowski)
    For the Money (dir Alejo Moguillansky)
    Ghost Tropic (dir Bas Devos)
    Give Me Liberty (dir Kirill Mikhanovsky)
    The Halt (dir Lav Diaz)
    The Lighthouse (dir Robert Eggers)
    Lillian (dir Andreas Horwath)
    Oleg (dir Juris Kursietis)
    The Orphanage (dir Shahrbanoo Sadat)
    Les Particules (dir Blaise Harrison)
    Perdrix (dir Erwan Le Duc)
    Sick, Sick, Sick (dir Alice Furtado)
    Song Without a Name (dir Melina León)
    Tlamess (dir Ala Eddine Slim)
    To Live to Sing (dir Johnny Ma)
    Wounds (dir Babak Anvari)
    Yves (dir Benoît Forgeard) – closing film
    Zombi Child (dir Bertrand Bonello)

    Special screenings
    Red 11 (dir Robert Rodriguez)
    The Staggering Girl (dir Luca Guadagnino)

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-11-2019 at 11:05 AM.

  4. #4
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    Ode to cinema … Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino in Once Upon
    a Time in Hollywood. Photograph: Allstar/Columbia Pictures Corporation

    Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be at Cannes, after all.

    Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to have world premiere at Cannes
    Director 'has not left the editing room in months' to complete much-anticipated film in time for festival unveiling

    -Headlines for today's Guardian article. You'll find it H E R E.

    That's good news for Tarantino fans. Tarantino loves Cannes and really appreciates it as cinema heaven, the global center for everything exciting that happens for the year in movies. The new Tarantino film will be included in Competition for the Palme d'Or, which he won in 1994 for Pulp Fiction.

    The festival also announced that Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo, the second part of a projected trilogy by Blue Is the Warmest Colour director Abdellatif Kechiche, and Gaspar Noé’s Lux Æterna have been added to the selection.

    The Cannes film festival runs 14-25 May.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-14-2019 at 05:33 PM.

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    Controversy over that special Palm for French film actor Alain Delon.


    The Cannes Film Festival is going forward with its decision to award an honorary Palme d’Or to Alain Delon despite criticism from the U.S. organization Women and Hollywood over comments that the veteran French actor has made about slapping women, opposing the adoption of children by same-sex parents [he's called it "against nature"] and supporting the rise of the far right in France.
    Alain Delon is one of the most glamorous and iconic French movie stars of all time. The French are not amused by the PC American condemnation of Delon's getting an honorary Palme at 83, and call it a reversion to the McCarthyism of the Fifties. When one thinks of Delon one particularly recalls René Clément's classic Patricia Highsmith adaptation Purple Noon/Plein soleil and Jean-Pierre Melville's noir masterpieces Le Samouraï and Un flic. With his cool, hard-edged French male beauty and subtle physical acting, Delon is one of the great ones, whatever bad views he has expressed on talk shows as a sad old man. AS Frémaux said, this is not the Nobel Prize, it's a movie award. He was also chosen by Antonioni to costar with Monica Vitti in L'Eclisse.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-15-2019 at 11:58 PM.

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    Cannes 2019 Festival opens. Sex, violence, gender parity issues. Netflix. Jury President Iñárritu.


    [Based on opening surveys in the Guardian and Variety]

    Tarantino controversies

    So Tarantino is coming, with his new film ready for Competition. But will its treatment of the Sharon Tate murders offend taste? QT is in trouble with the #MeToo crowd following rumors of his maltreatment of Uma Thurman while making the "Kill Bill" movies (he apologized; but he has also been quoted as saying that Polanski's 13-year-old sex victim was "down with it"). Another Cannes biggie who'll be present is Ken Loach, with his gig economy drama Sorry We Missed You, likewise Pedro Almodóvar with his film industry memoir Pain and Glory, and the Dardenne brothers with a radicalization story, The Young Ahmed. Terrence Malick's film, A Hidden Life, is about the anti-Nazi Franz Jägerstätter. (Malick has been elusive of late years, and may not even be present at the festival.)

    The gender parity issue

    The festival directorship itself has no great feminist reputation given how slow it is to bring in more female directors. Despite Thierry Frémaux's signing a gender parity pledge, only 4 out of 23 Competition films are by female directors. Frémaux has said people are asking more of Cannes than of other festivals. In defense of the honoring of the sexist and homophobic Alain Delon, he has declared, "We’re not going to give the Nobel peace prize to Alain Delon. . .He is entitled to express his views. Today it is very difficult to honor somebody because you have a sort of political police that falls on you."

    Netrlix and theaters

    French distributors were furious at the 2017 Cannes inclusion of Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories, for which Netflix disobeyed the French requirement of holding streaming release for 36 months after theatrical release. Last year Netflix held their prime release ROMA for another festival. There are no Netflix movies in this year's Cannes Festival either (but Martin Scorsese’s mob tale The Irishman and Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers journalist investigation tale The Laundromat simply weren't ready in time anyway).

    Jury President Iñárritu speaks out

    The Jury president Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (incidentally the first Mexican ever to hold this post at Cannes) has used his position to blast Trump's wall and defend movie theaters against the encroachments of their territory by Netflix. "Cinema was born to be experienced in a communal experience," he said (i.e., not to be watched at home alone). Of Trump's policies, Iñárritu said "As an artist, I can express through my job and with my heart open what I think to be truthful. I think the problem is what is happening is the ignorance. People do not know, it’s very easy to manipulate." He said his selection by the festival is a repudiation of Trump's anti-immigrant policies.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-21-2019 at 01:43 PM.

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    Mel Gibson to star in Rothchild film?


    A movie to be shopped at Cannes has casting that sparks controversy: Mel Gibson, who was ostracized from Hollywood for anti-semitic talk, is reported cast as the scion of a very rich New York family named Rothchild. This is the name of perhaps the most famous Jewish family in history. Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker TV critic, tweeted:
    I tend to lean excessively forgiving about a certain amount of addict behavior & bad speech. But Mel Gibson seems like an unrepentant bigot to me & it's honestly shocking to me that he would be in this movie. I truly don't get it.
    Seth Rogen tweeted 'Ho-ho-holocaust denier." The film title is Rothchild. That is of course the name of what is known as the richest family in history, which was Jewish. It began with a German Frankfort court factor in the 18th century who was able to pass on his wealth; it established bases in numerous European cities (London, Paris, Frankfort, Vienna and Naples) and was elevated to noble status in France and England. (Guardian story),

    The movie is described as "an action-packed cautionary tale [of] wealth and power."
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-14-2019 at 05:33 PM.

  8. #8
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    The Cannes 2019 Competition Jury

    Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexican filmmaker, Jury President (Amores Perros, Birdman)
    Enki Bilal, French graphic novel author, artist and filmmaker
    Robin Campillo, French filmmaker (Eastern Boys, BPM)
    Maimouna N'Diaye, Senegalese actress and filmmaker
    Elle Fanning, American actress (Somewhere, Neon Demon)
    Yorgos Lanthimos, Greek filmmaker (The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Favourite)
    Paweł Pawlikowski, Polish filmmaker (Ida, Cold War)
    Kelly Reichardt, American filmmaker (Old Boy, Wendy and Lucy, Night Moves, Meek’s Cutoff
    Alice Rohrwacher, Italian filmmaker (Corpo Celeste, The Wonders, Happy As Lazzaro
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-22-2019 at 11:30 PM.

  9. #9
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    Cannes 2019 Un Certrain Regard jury

    President: Nadine Labaki
    Lukas Dhont (Girl)
    Marina Foïs (L'Atelier)
    Nurman Sekerci-Porst
    Lisandro Alonso (Los Muertos, Fantasma

    Belgian direcor Lukas Dhont, French actress Marina Foïs, German producer Nurhan Sekerci-Porst, and Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso have joined Nadine Labaki on the jury for Un Certain Regard a this month’s Cannes Film Festival (May 14-25).

    Dhont participated in the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence in 2016 with the script of his first acclaimed feature Girl, which won the Caméra d’Or for best first feature in Un Certain Regard in Cannes last year. He is now working on his second feature.

    Foïs was nominated for the César for most promising actress in Filles Perdues, Cheveux Gras in 2003. She followed that up with best actress nods for Darling in 2008, 2011 Cannes Competition selection Polisse in 2012, Irréprochable in 2017, and Un Certain Regard 2017 entry L’Atelier in 2018. The actress appeared in the 2018 Gilles Lellouche comedy and Cannes 2018 selection Le Grand Bain, and earlier this year garnered a Molière awards nomination for her portrayal of Hervé Guibert on stage in Les Idoles by Christophe Honoré.

    Buenos Aires-born Alonso’s Los Muertos screened in Directors’ Fortnight in 2004. Two years later, he completed his trilogy with Fantasma. Liverpool screened in Cannes in 2018, and Jauja, set in 19th century Denmark and Argentina and starring Viggo Mortensen, which won the FIPRESCI award in Un Certain Regard in 2014.

    Şekerci-Porst has worked with German director Fatih Akin since 2005. They co-founded the production company Bombero International in 2012 and produced The Cut and In The Fade, which premiered in Cannes 2017 and earned Diane Kruger the best actress award.
    -Screen Daily
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-14-2019 at 02:27 PM.

  10. #10
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    Cannes opening night film: Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die


    Opening Night at Cannes. Some reviews.

    Mixed reports, but a sense this will worth seeing for Jarmusch completists but not particularly invigorating. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian: "Jim Jarmusch’s undeadpan comedy is laconic, lugubrious and does not entirely come to life, despite many witty lines and tremendously assured performances by an A-list cast." "Lethargic," and has "more brains than bite," says David Erlich in IndieWire. The premise is that an excess of polar fracking has warped the planet’s rotation and reanimated the corpses at the local morgue. The theme, Erlich says, is "When Hell is full, the dead will walk the Earth. And when the Earth is fucked, the living will do whatever they can to sleepwalk through the nightmare." Many interesting cast members including Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Danny Glover, Chlöe Sevigny, Caleb Landry Jones, Steve Buscemi and Tom Waits, with Tilda Swinton as a Scottish immigrant mortician whose "delightful performance shoots the movie full of fresh embalming fluid every time it starts to rot. Which is often." Owen Gleiberman of Variety typecasts this as a "hipster zombie comedy" and says it "congratulates itself for doing what other movies have done better." Nonetheless there are some original plot twists, as you'll learn if you read Todd McCarthy's Hollywood Reporter review, which tells all about the flick's plot-line. Current Metascore: 64%. Hipness level: surely much higher. Note: A favorite of mine, Dead Man, has a Metascore of 62. Todd McCarthy's concluding words:
    Typically for Jarmusch, the songs, led by the title tune, and score are outstanding, enlivening nearly every scene. And the sheer diversity of the castmembers, along with their individual senses of humor, sustains one’s attention even when inspiration sometimes lags. It’s a minor, but most edible, bloody bonbon.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-18-2019 at 04:34 PM.

  11. #11
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    From the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, his "top ten must-see films" at Cannes


    Peter Bradshaw is one of the few high-profile English-language film critics who provide detailed daily coverage at Cannes so if you want to follow it day-to-day and your language is English, he's invaluable. His list but my notes. Note: I continue to miss Mike D'Angelo, whose thumbnail tweet-reviews were very useful. Let's hope the fest offers more than what's below.

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
    Leo DiCaprio is a fading TV star and Brad Pitt his stunt double in Hollywood, late Sixties, as the Sharon Tate murders occur. Bruce Lee is a character. Much anticipated, at first not expected, promoted by Cannes Festival director Thierry Frémaux who declared QT is "a friend."

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire/Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma)
    Noémie Merlant plays a young painter asked to do a portrait of a young woman (Adèle Haenel) without her knowledge. The 40-year-old French woman director Céline Sciamma is noted for female-centric gender-conscious films. Her first three, Water Lilies, Tomboy, and Girlhood, have brought her rapid prestige in a 12-year-period. She also did the screenplay for the animation My Life As a Courgette/Zucchini. In French.

    Little Joe (Jessica Hausner)
    English philosophical comedy with Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw concerning a botanist who develops a flower she nicknames Little Joe that can induce happiness in all those who grow it properly, but when its developer takes it home, she comes to suspect it may have a dark side. (The theme somehow makes one think of Alexander Mackendrick's 1951 English classic, The Man in the White Suit, starring Alec Guinness.)

    Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach)
    Loach continues his worker-centric filmmaking with the study of a delivery driver having hard times. With longtime cowriter Paul Laverty. Loach's last film, I Daniel Blakek won him his second Cannes Palme d'Or.

    The Swallows of Kabul/Les hirondelles de Kabou (Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobé Mévellec)
    Animated film based on a novel by the very prolific Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra (who writes in French, and is actually a man), about Kabul in the late Nineties and a young love affair threatened by the Taliban. In French. You can see a clip of this on IMDb, but without English subtitles. Un Certain Regard.

    The Dead Don’t Die (Jim Jarmusch)
    Cannes regular Jarmusch, who two features ago delivered the swoony, gloomy vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive] (NYFF 2013), offers the festival "a bit of unwholesome confectionery" (Bradshaw) with this Opening Night film, a slow-moving zombie comedy-nightmare set in a small town, with an offbeat A-List cast including Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez and Danny Glover and with an appearance by Iggy Pop. (Already reviewed: Opening Night film.)

    An Easy Girl/Une fille facile (Rebecca Zlotowski)
    A romance set on the French Reviera. Bradshaw desribes Zlotkowski's Grand Central (R-V 2014) as a 'cult classic.' I was not so impressed, though I certainly liked the stars, Tahar Rahim and Léa Seydoux. Directors' Fortnight. In French.

    Frankie (Ira Sachs)
    Isabelle Huppert stars (with Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei and Greg Kinnear) in Ira Sachs’s film about a family on holiday in Portugal. In English. (I don't think Huppert is as good, ever, in English, as in her native French. It loses the edge.)

    Sick, Sick, Sick/Sem Seu Sangue ["Without your blood"] (Alice Furtado)
    Debut feature by the young Brazilian director depicts an obsessive and tormented high-school love affair (with Nahuel Pérez Biscayart of 120 Beats Per Minute). Directors' Fortnight. Tragic, deranged finale. IMDb summary: "An introspective young girl falls for the new boy in class, an outcast who is also a hemophiliac." For a longer summery, go H E R E. In Portuguese.

    Diego Maradona (Asif Kapadia)
    The hand of God descends with this documentary from British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, who made the successful doc about Amy Winehous, Amy, about the troubled football genius. Emir Kusturica has already done a film about him but Bradshaw says this "promises a treasure trove of new material." Already bought by HBO Sports. See article H E R E.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-15-2019 at 10:40 PM.

  12. #12
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    Other anticipated titles at Cannes


    Rocketman (Dexter Fletcher)
    A biopic about Elton John with Taron Egerton in the lead role. Egerton is the handsome 30-year-old British TV actor-singer known for the series "Smoke" and the 2014 action comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service. Dexter Fletcher, who was memorable (briefly) playing the young Caravaggio in Derek Jarman's film, got lucky last year by landing the job of finishing Bohemian Rhapsody. This film's screenplay is by Lee Hall, who did the writing for Billy Elliot, and is costars Jamie Bell as John's longtime songwriter Bernie Taupin. When shown the photo above Elton John is said to have thought it was him. Premiering Out of Competition.

    A Hidden Life (Terence Malick).
    A German-language film with Bruno Ganz and August Diehl about the Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II. Competition. This seems to signal the end of Malick's long period of navel-gazing. Why he chose this subject matter remains to be discovered.

    Pain and Glory/Dolor y gloria (Pedro Almodover)
    This stars Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Penélope Cruz, Julieta Serrano and Leonardo Sbaraglia. It's a kind of retrospective, being focused on a director (played by Banderas) who ponders on his life choices as he finds the world crashing down on him. This opened in Spanish theaters (Sony) in March, but is in Competition at Cannes nonetheless.

    The Traitor/Il traditore (Marco Bellochio)
    Bellocchio's seventh time in competition at Cannes, but he has never been a winner. Depicts pentito Mafia boss (Italian word) Tommaso Buscetta. Pierfrancesco Favino stars as Buscetta with Maria Fernanda Cândido and Luigi Lo Cascio. The only Italian film in Competition at Cannes this year. Buscetto claims "I am and remain a man of honor. It's they who betrayed the ideals of Cosa Nostra." Caught in Brazil, where he managed the drug trade, he saw the killing of sons and brothers in Palermo, and the film shows his trial.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-15-2019 at 11:13 PM.

  13. #13
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    Reviews from days one and two.


    Bacurau (Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho 2019): a tale of hunting people for sport in contemporary Brazil. Competition.

    Kleber Mendonça Filho is the director of the excellent Neighboring Sounds/O Som ao Redor (2012) and Aquarius (2016), both of which were reviewed on Filmleaf. Here he codirected with his production designer/producer, Juliano Dornelles. They take a new direction in what Peter Bradshaw in his Guardian review yesterday (Wed., May 15) called a "disturbing ultraviolent freakout." David Erlilch in IndieWire calls it "Seven Samurai Meets Hostel" and a "Delirious Brazilian Western." It's set some years in the future, where a group of rich Americans have come led by Udo Kier to hunt the locals (a matriarchal village) for their sport, as Peter Debruge explains in his Variety review. The film becomes, says Debruge, "an almost Buñuelian science-fiction thriller, shot to look like a spaghetti Western, complete with weird zooms, arbitrary crane tricks, and horizontal wipes." It suffers as a genre piece, however, Debruge says, because it's too complex and sophisticated, demanding "the extra labor of unpacking its densely multilayered subtext to appreciate." Sonia Braga is back (from Aquarius) playing an alcoholic doctor. Ominously, Bacarau suddenly is wiped off of online maps. It becomes clear soon enough that the town is going to have to fight for its life, because a high-tech ultra-rich safari has come to amuse themselves by pick;ing off the inhabitants one by one. Critics seem agreed that this film is stylistically brilliant, even if its point is not so clear other than to make some clear "broad swipes" (Erlich) against the current anti-native, anti-environment, pro-wealthy policies of the unprincipled new right wing Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro.

    Rocketman (Dexter Fletcher 2019) Out of Competition.

    The Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton opened tonight, making Paramount the first major studio to present gay sex openly, says Tatiana Siegel in a Hollywood Reporter article, one of several on this topic. She explains her claim by saying this is aimed at a "broader" audience than did Brokeback Mountain and Call Me by Your Name, which of course also showed gay sex in films not made purely for niche audiences. There is no Metascore out on this movie yet, or any online reviews, but much discussion of its presumed trailblazing boldness (which Fletcher himself however discounts). Fletcher has pointed out this is a musical, and Bohemian Rhapsody was a biopic, hence the two shouldn't keep being compared (as they are). Rami Malek was outstanding as an actor; Taron Egerton's task is more to sing.

    Litigante (Franco Lolli 2019). Critics Week.

    The Colombian director's second feature is a subtle treatment of family relationships, not a legal drama as the title implies. It might be considered a "belated breakout vehicle" for the lead Sanin, says Guy Lodge in his Variety review, because she's unfamiliar and so good, except that she's actually a non-pro Colombian writer and academic. Lollo has also cast another non-pro, his own mother, Leticia Gómez, in a key role. The film's "many scenes of loaded domestic conflict have a nervy authenticity that perhaps betrays Lolli’s close-to-home casting preferences," says Lodge. One of these two characters has terminal cancer, yet the two women go on bickering even in the hospital. An excellent complex family drama that keeps many balls in the air, Lodge concludes (a mom with cancer, raising a son alone, a scandal at work) - till it ends in an anticlimactic finale. Leslie Felperin in Hollywood Reporter calls this "an engaging if hardly groundbreaking work."

    Deerskin/Le Daim (Quentin Dupieux 2019)

    "The latest oddball concoction from French iconoclast Quentin Dupieux stars Jean Dujardin as a man who falls in love with his jacket", says Boyd van Hoeij in Hollywood Reporter of this film that opened Directors Fortnight at Cannes. I know what he's talking about because I just reviewed his previous one, Keep an Eye Out!/Au poste! a couple of months ago as part of this year's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at Lincoln Center. Dupieux is definitely a droll, but also silly and frivolous filmmaker whose work can't appeal to more than a small segment of the French public, and smaller one of the non-French. But he is fiendishly clever, and commands good casts. This one also has the talented and fiery Adèle Haenel.

    The Unknown Saint/Le Miracle du Saint Inconnu (Alaa Eddine Aljem 2019). Critics' Week.

    This debut feature by the young Moroccan director Alaa Eddine Aljem was also reviewed by Boyd van Hoeij in Hollywood Reporter. It begins with a thief burying his loot at the top of a dune in a desert as police sirens are heard approaching in the distance. He goes to jail, and when he gets out the fake grave where he buried his swag has become a place of pilgrimage to an "unknown saint" so he can't get at it. Van Hoeij says this is a "bone-dry comedy and light drama," and "an absurdist tale about superstitions, beliefs and just plain bad luck." He suspects it won't do well outside the realm of festival audiences or at least "might be just a little too undernourished for more than niche theatrical action." More positively, Alissa Simon in her Variety review calls The Unknown Saint "Beautifully shot and ideally cast" and says it's "a droll, entertaining, absurdist fable about spirituality and greed that signals an important new talent."

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-20-2019 at 12:04 AM.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    More Cannes 2019 reviews.


    Atlantics/Atlantique (Mati Diop 2019)

    This is one of the four women directors who got a film in Competition this year, enough to make it known widely. She is Senegalese and more known as an actress but her shorter films have gained her notice as a director leading up to this feature debut, whose plot has the sound of myth or fable: and even the bare words evoke striking images. It's the melancholy story of a Ada, young woman about to be married to the well-to-do Omar when she truly loves Soleiman. And just then, Soleiman is lost at sea with a group of others he went out in an open boat with heading for Spain, leaving her devastated. The lost men worked on a big building on the edge of Dakar and were owed a lot of back pay. Their ghosts return and inhabit the young women to demand the money. Focus shifts to Issa, an investigator called in when the marriage bed is set aflame. There have been numerous films focused on the men lost at sea trying to escape to Europe, Jay Weissberg says in his Variety review, and it's refreshing to see one focused on the women they leave behind. Weissberg finds narrative or structural weaknesses in this movie, but it sounds potentially vivid and beautiful. In his enthusiastic Guardian review Peter Bradshaw calls it an "intriguingly ruminative and poetic movie," "a Voodoo-realist drama, or docu-supernatural mystery" whose strangeness doesn't keep it from saying some very "pertinent things" about the "contemporary developing world." He gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-19-2019 at 11:05 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area


    LES MISERABLES (Ladj Ly 2019). A powerful French cop thriller with sociological bent. In Competition.

    Though it bears little direct narrative resemblance to the eponymous Victor Hugo tome, this crime thriller (the feature debut of a former documentary filmmaker) that examines the tensions between Paris anti-crime police and poor Muslim populations they torment is set in the housing estate of Les Bosquets in Montfermeil, in the département of Seine-Saint-Denis that figured in the Hugo novel. It also shows the same extreme injustices still prevail. David Erlich of IndieWire says this shows Ly grew up in the influence of Mathieu Kassovitz's 1995 La Haine (about social tensions in Paris) and (as others also say) invites comparisons to Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. Erlich calls this "a gripping and grounded procedural," "never more tactile and kinetic than in the breathtaking prologue," "powered by the raw muscularity of its filmmaking." There's a kind of police riot, which a ghetto kid captures on film with a drone. The banlieue setting is Ly's own home turf. Guy Lodge's Variety review (and others) praises highly with some reservations. He calls this film "a furious work of social geography that satisfies slightly less as a character piece," dramatizing the "violent anxieties on both sides" but perhaps "selling some of the victims a little short." The cops are not seen sympathetically, yet most of the action is through the point of view of a three-man crime unit, two vets and a newbie, on a single day. Still the whole social topography of Montfermeil is also depicted. according to Jordan Mintzer of Hollywood Reporter, who relates this to David Simon's iconic TV series "The Wire." Peter Bradshaw hails this film's "striking and even glorious pre-credit" sequence (of Paris celebrating France winning the World Cup) and thinks it excels at its ordinary, everyday moments. But then he thinks it tries to work on too broad a scale and turns too violent. Not a pan, though: he gives Les Misérables 3 out of 5 stars. Ly also was codirector with Stéphane de Freitas of the uplifting César-nominated doc Speak Up/À voix haute : La Force de la parole.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-26-2019 at 10:59 PM.

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